Thursday, December 31, 2009

(A Brilliant) Record Magazine

Dear Godfrey Logan,
Hello! My name is F. Toscano, and I am submitting 4 of my poems for your consideration. I am 40 years old and have never been published before. I hope you find my work fits your audience. I appreciate your consideration in advance. Thank you.


F. Toscano

my reality

psychologically stalking mental health
philosophically talking to myself
over wine and women song and wealth

it’s about something you will never quit
unfold you I’ll engross in fantasy
when in doubt of whether you can admit
you’re cold you need a dose of what is me
I’ll reach out beyond the farthest limit
grab hold and pull it close so you can see
my reality

time ago

subliminal sections intervals of intervention
reminiscent reflections moments I don’t mention
unaware areas inside changing times of contrast
reminders of memories times I’ve left in the past

when I was young when I was my only foe
friends I was among a real long time ago
and so it goes in between interpose and intervene
time ago

our first kiss

I’ve taken my licks fought the good fight
never thought I’d say you’re my fate
three seventeen oh six friday night
saint patricks day our first date

saturday too soon you felt it too
so close to your face and sweet bliss
then sunday afternoon I grabbed you
front of my place our first kiss

sweet music

tranquil music starts I feel sweet sixteen
drums with beating hearts for sweet Marlene
most beautiful eyes my eyes ever seen
inside lullabies with sweet Marlene
in my own parade reign forever queen
some sweet serenade to sweet Marlene
my point never moot that’s the way I lean
fragrant notes of flute of sweet Marlene
walking hand in hand here it’s so serene
I’m in la la land Marlene

F. Toscano

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hi, my name is Jason Christy. I am sending this poem in for submission per the details on I am a 30 years old, living and working in Southern California as a freelance writer. I have only flirted with poetry as my specialty is short fiction. This submission is actually part of a larger song that I wrote.

When I met you I saw the sunshine I had lost
When I met you I knew exactly the cost
I lost my bravery in past seasons
It was slain by time and treasons
When I met you I spoke my first words again
When I met you I fell in love with a friend
I lost my heart in past seasons
It was bled by time and treasons

or possibly the first verse

For once I'm at a loss for words to write
For once I'm lost in seas of fire and ice
I lost my tongue a long time ago
It was eaten by pain and sorrow
For once I have no words to speak
For once I'll turn the other cheek
I lost my sunshine a long time ago
It was swallowed by my pain and sorrow

Jason Christy

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pasted below are the following poems I am submitting for your consideration:

“An Illusion,” “Lips on a Rainy Night,” “My Blossom, My Magnolia,” and “Twenty Hours One Winter Past.”

These are from my larger corpus of romance verse called “Women I Must Forget.”

I am a lifelong poet with my verse appearing most recently in The Sheltered Poet, Red Owl and The Poet’s Art.

I also place first or second each year in various state and regional poetry competitions.

Thank you for considering my work. I look forward to hearing from you.


Vandye Forrester

An Illusion

Before you all was darkness; loneliness by constant

All that had been my life was broken and gone

Someone changed the rules of life and I did not know

Then, one night I saw an illusion

I saw your deliciously red hair,
your lovely form a delightful surprise for my
hungry eyes, your soft facial features and beauty
made me hope again

You seemed so happy and alive and I had wanted to die for
so long; it seemed a certainty, only a matter of time

You didn’t know but I watched you for a long time, afraid
to speak since all else that I had touched had turned to
dust and blown away

It was through your courage that we met, and our first
steps together made me feel alive once more

The first evening I held you in my arms I loved you

You were soft and warm and I loved again

We agreed to walk a little way on life’s paths, to see
where they would lead us. For me they lead to true

You awakened parts of me that I never knew existed

For the first time I wanted only to give. If affection
and caring were returned I would be enriched

For me, it was enough only to be with you, walking or simply in
the same room with you as you slept to listen to the
soft whisper of your breathing and smell you fragrance

Our love deepened. I gave and you too; in the mutual caring
and giving we received the blessings of deep love between
a man and woman

For the first time I accepted a woman asking no change,
knowing from bitter experience that to change was to
destroy the object of one’s love

Those days and weeks and months that we shared a home
were the happiest of my life. Would that they had
gone on for a lifetime, but it would not be

At long, long last i had what I had for most of my
life only held in my dreams - a home in which I was
loved by my woman

We made a valiant try, you and I. We both did the
very best we could to make our love and life together last

Your demons returned as did your illusion

And, so I am left with the memory of your lips, of long
walks and private talks; of our wonderful quiet Sundays
over breakfast and kisses and soft music

You gave me love, you gave me hope and in the process
you gave me new life

Your memory, my illusion, walks with me every step of my days

I love you so dearly, so deeply and in my own way

Because you were such a woman you made me more of a

Thank you for the loving home that for so long in my
adult life had existed only in . . An illusion

Lips on a Rainy Night

I tasted your lips
and my fingertips kissed your breasts
for the first time at
sunset in the rain overlooking the

Crashing Pacific . . . tonight

And each of us, My Valentine, held dear our own
about the kiss . . . and where it
might lead

Perhaps . . . ah . . . that is it

And the Pacific crashed and I held you and
tasted your lips and the
rain covered our little hiding place

But we were safe by the fire in the arms of our minds
imagination . . . and it was warm and we
wanted each other

It was warm to the skin
but also warm in the heart on
this night for lovers

And we
exchanged emotions and thoughts
and our hearts

but, not too much for we are both still
afraid . . . flowing caution

Perhaps what we had tonight . . . our lips meeting at sunset in the
rain will be more

If not, the memory of your kiss and the softness of your
womanhood will remain in my memory

My Blossom, My Magnolia

My blossom-My magnolia
I’m thinking of you
right now

I can hear your voice
And see in my memory
the soft swish of
your gown across
the bedroom floor

The touch and soft brush
Of your hair on my
your lips your breath-soft

My blossom-My magnolia
I’m thinking of you
right now

Our walks in the woods
our love by the camp
fire on the tropical

The thousands, nae
countless hours in
each other’s
softly, urgently-

Saturday mornings over
breakfast and love
and love, and how I
miss my magnolia

How sweet and warm
and opening flesh

My magnolia, but most
of all
my love

The Florida clouds
cast shadows across
our love
Ah, my love, my magnolia

The weekend comes
fall mountains of
north Georgia

I imagine I can see
what love with you
my love, my magnolia
would be like by a
campfire and trout
stream on the side
of a gold and red mountain - my magnolia

The sun here rises
& goes down - red,
blood red

My blood ran red for
you for so long
and does still
in my memory that
at times

Real, now - I feel
like we first
met, first walked
first talked first loved

I wish it could be

Suppose it cannot
but it can in my

If I close my eyes
only for a second

I can kiss you once
more, in my memory

Once more you are
in my arms

Once more our breasts
meet - warm, wet

In my memory
my blossom - my

I’m thinking of you

Twenty Hours One Winter Past

Twenty short hours one winter past
in each others arms
in our hearts we had the
promise of a

The hours passed
The taste of lips and the
of warm, moist flesh passed

The memory of the touch of your silk hair in my hands
and on my cheek,
as will the whisper and
your cry in my ear
Stay with me, hold me, comfort me

Your voice still whispers
your lips still kiss me

Twenty short hours one winter past
in each other’s arms
in our hearts - the promise
never to come true

But truth came to each of
us in

The strength of my manhood
loving your beauty and softness
during those twenty
Short hours - that was

And, too, truth comes in the

All of my life I have
tasted sweetness and
bitterness, searching
Wondering, when will time
be mine?
and you came, then
to me softly, gently,
urgently - for twenty short
hours one winter past

For those hours the world
and I was given a dream
and I held you and
Loved you and loved you

Yes the world vanished for
twenty short hours
one winter past
And I was blessed with
an illusion that I had
Long ago stopped believing would
be mine - but for those
hours of promise, my illusion
clothed only in lady white
skin, in womanly flesh
my illusion was flesh and
blood, warm, sweet
and timid breasts and
slender hands and
soft, maddening curves

For those twenty short hours
the world went
away and from the distance
I was given love

For twenty short hours

The ice wind of our winter
Seemed to warm your womanhood to my touch
The flower of spring
The promise of new
life soon to follow
a warm summer

evening - these I held

In my arms when I held
You for

Twenty hours one winter

That warm summer will
come to me and its touch will remind me of
your arms

Spring and summer will bring
The taste of your womanhood
once more - I will be
physically gone, but you touched me so profoundly

Will be with me, my illusion,
my searching, my winter with
spring and summer as
kisses and touch

As I go, once more I will kiss the petals of your

I will once again feel the
silk of your hair, its
lovely brown auburn blending
Beautifully with
the pastel sheets

One last time will I hear
of your cry, feel
your cheek
on my neck

And, my lovely illusion
who made the world
vanish - save you and
your lover

I will still see your brown green eyes
In pain


Our twenty hours
one winter past

Monday, December 21, 2009

Is Tiger Woods Racist?: A Cautionary Tale

Remember the April 1997 Oprah interview? Tiger claimed he wasn't just Black, but was "Cablinasian," honoring and embracing the heritage of both his parents. A citizen of the world. A walking United Nations. Fast forward to 2009 and the unexpressed question on the tip of many tongues: "Is Tiger Woods Racist?"
Let's look at the evidence. His wife, Elin. Very Blonde. Very Fair. Peaches and Cream. Former model and nanny. Girl Next Door Grown Up. She's Nordic - about as far - in more ways than one - from a Black woman as you can get. Perhaps picked so the children would be even further removed. That honoring and embracing, maybe not so much...
And then there's his other women. They are all, so far, White. Primarily blonde, mainly out of the bottle, with ample or amplified figures. Few with dark hair among them; most appear tanned or well bronzed as well. "Playboy" Barbie personified? That California surfer girl the Beach Boys harmonized so eloquently about? Either way, very early 1960s. Looks like Tiger has bought into those stagnant stereotypes in spades. And at least a baker's dozen of women have too.
I'd say he has a problem being (half) Black. And what I don't understand is the lack of a loud, cacophonous outcry from Black women who typically don't like White women stealing their men away. All I hear on point is deafening silence in the mainstream media and derisive whimpering from their "Urban" cohorts.
I'd also say Tiger is stuck in a pre women's lib, pre civil rights movement concept of a woman. And, sadly, he is probably not alone. We've come a long way baby...but have we? And have men? As Tiger's taste clearly shows, the preference for the pale palette still prevails. To Black men, and men in general, why are booby blondes still the ultimate sought after prize? And why are women in this day and age so accommodating and catering to THAT? Betty Friedan must be tossing and turning in her grave. Dove's Campaign For Real Beauty needs to amp it up. Big time.
Is it because approaching 2010, many of us, including Tiger, do not know who and what we are? I am a second generation Italian American, born and bred in New York. The original version of Mattel's aforementioned doll had a blonde ponytail and vastly outsold the fairly contemporaneous brown bubble cut version, which I was given because, we'll, I had (and have) short, relatively dark, curly hair and it was important that I have a doll that looked like me. Despite a wider variety of product, a much harder feat to accomplish today. Growing up, I repeatedly heard "marry your own." I didn't, and the 20 year union was a disaster. I liken it to "culture clash;" such differences can be divisive. During the divorce proceedings, I discovered that my now ex had spent most of that time at massage parlors and with prostitutes who did not remotely resemble flat chested, "au natural" me. I am not a racist, nor am I a bigot or prejudiced. I actually have "atypical" blue green eyes and porcelain skin. But I am a realist with a solid sense of who and what I am. Racially and ethnically blended people do not have that advantage; they are by their very nature pulled in more than one direction, and because of that may have a harder time forming a fixed identity, which may explain their search for and attraction to what they perceive as the All American ideal. It probably doesn't help that the majority of female "role models," from the current Barbies to the multitude of women in or covered by the mass media, still for the most part parallel in appearance that inaugural 1960s doll.
Which brings me to some closing food for thought. Did the political and social movements of the 1960s that created racial and sexual freedom and equality unintentionally and inadvertently birth a backlash failure of self image and crisis in self esteem? Too many variations and choices where we socially require some standards? Does that explain, even partially, the identical affinity, almost fifty years later, for the busty, blushing or bronzed blonde that still stubbornly hangs around? Those inquiries might be useful as a starting point in answering my opening question - "Is Tiger Woods Racist?" - and exploring whether the rest of us are obliviously as well.
As a nation, we are again at a similar crossroads, contemplating sweeping political and social change. Tiger's tale is more than a salacious saga and should be probed for cautionary clues and cues that sometimes what is reaped is other than what is sown. To the powers that be, beware, and take care with our country's future.

Karen Ann DeLuca

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dear Editor Godfrey Logan

Please find several works for your consideration.

‘Zillion Bits of Light’ is a short bit of fiction.

‘Those Worry Free Years’ is a slice of a bitter-sweet time in my youth.

“Scott, you should not have stopped trying” was advice that eventually changed my life.

My writings come from having lived on three continents, meeting hundreds of people of all backgrounds. I have lived in Asia, Europe, and this country. At one time or another, I have parachuted, dived, rock climed and lived in wealth and homelessness.

Until recently, my writing has been confined to internal and public documents for the companies I worked for.

Now, I am able to write full time.

Should you find these pieces have merit, I have others from poetry to short stories.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.


Scott Wyatt


Yesterday, I met a man who said he had talked with some Aliens. There was no need for me to ask any questions, because I was not a bit surprised.
I was born and grew up on a farm outside a small Midwest town. It was a youth filled with wonderful times and experiences. My favorite times were those warm summer nights when I would lie out on the back lawn looking up at those zillion bits of light. Those little specks and me have been friends ever since.
Even as a kid, I suspected things about those lights they didn’t teach in school.
I knew there were other kids out there, on those bits of light, lying on their backs, looking up at the zillion bits, same as me. Yep, I would have bet my best baseball card on that. Kids just know some things without being told.
Like many farming families, when I was old enough, I took over the farm. I married my childhood sweetheart and we had children. With the farming and raising a family, those memories of youth forever lost by time and other responsibilities However, as with many special things we discover in our youth, and later to forget or put aside, well, they just have a knack of coming around in ways we don’t expect. Mine came by way of my wife taking sick after children were grown and gone
During the last year of her life, after the supper dishes were cleaned and put away, we took to walking out the back door to the yard. She and I would lie down on that warm summer ground and hold hands as we talked about those zillion bits of light. In doing so, we recaptured those youthful memories which gave us strength to hold on during those terrible times.
I’m an old man now. Someone else is farming the land. With my wife gone and our kids busy with lives of their own, I have lots of time. I continued to go out and look at those zillion bits of light. Sometimes I forget or fall asleep in the in my easy chair... But whenever the weather is ok, from spring through fall, I go out and lie down in our spot and look up and wonder which light my wife is on, looking back at me.
Now, you know why I was not a bit surprised…


Yesterday morning while having coffee at the “Grind”, my friend and I got to talking about our youth. We agreed the years from 7 to 12 were the best. During that time we were neither children needing constant care, nor teenagers who were beginning to understand the world of good and bad. I know that there are many children during these years that do not have a happy childhood, however for me and others, those were the worry-free years of youth.
It was a time of impulse, a simple life – in which we seemed to run from one experience to the other. We measured everything by the minute, or hour; and anything beyond a day didn’t except. It was a gentle, warm time; we were safe and secure, our parents and authorities knew everything.
This part of my youth took place during the Mid-Sixties…that time of Make Love Not War. A message preached everywhere except Asia, where we were scarified our best and finest youth in a war not understood by anyone I have talked with since. When I grew up, I learned that that my parents and many other adults were as clueless as we kids but loved us enough to keep their ignorance and fears to themselves.
In most kids lives there are events, times, even friends that help define the more magical moments of those years. One such time for me was Beach Day which took begun on Tuesday about 9am. Our Uncle Kinney and Aunt Mariel would come to our rented house and pick up my sisters, mother and I for a day of sand and surf…and sunburns.
The sand and surf played a major part in the culture of the country at that time, regardless of whether you lived in the Midwest , down South, the North East or on one of the coasts. For many, the foremost influence was The Beach Boys-a West Coast band, whose message of sun, fun and freedom touched something deep inside most all of us. It was great if for no other reason than it gave us all a place to escape to, a place where everyone was athletic, tanned and free, as we hunted the world’s beaches for that perfect wave.
Those who embraced this message, mainly teenagers, were called “Surfers” and they became a click in the schools and colleges, adding to the Jocks, Bookworms, Socies, and malcontents and clueless. The ‘Surfer’ clothing was simple as their message; a white T-shirt, cutoff blue jeans and flip flops or sandals.
Whenever possible I would get into my surfer garb, walk around the neighborhood talking about the primo waves, hanging ten, waxing boards and the trips I would take when I got my Woodie Station Wagon.
With these thoughts in mind on those Tuesday’s at the beach, I lived the Surfer Dream. The fact that I used a cheap Styrofoam belly board-bought at the local drugstore, didn’t know how to surf and had no Surfer friends made no difference. They were times that I shall always look back on with satisfaction. It was one of my coming of age experiences when I began to see the beauty and innocence of life. I don’t remember when we stopped having those Tuesday beach trips.
I never became a Surfer, never got on a board in the mystical ocean where anything is possible. I missed living a life unfettered from standards imposed by others and didn’t get to that evening campfire on the beach, where the Surfers strummed their guitars, sang songs and kissed the pretty girls.
I have many memories of those and other times. I have since learned that most all of them are colored to some extent, not unlike the movie, “Wizard of Oz”. As you may remember the movie starts out in black and white, yet soon becomes a palate of color.
For many years I’ve heard ‘they’ proclaim that we cannot turn back the hands of time. But I wonder if by adding our own bit of color here and there, we could recapture a brief glimpse of those worry free years by seeing once again thru the eyes of our childhood...
Yesterday, as my friend and I shared coffee and our memories, I think that we both agreed that ‘they’ don’t really know everything…


A woman taught me; never give. Her last words to me were, “Scott, you should not have stopped trying.” [I can not reveal her name. Today, she is successful and well known.] This memory and others of our time together, I keep safe, deep inside of me, away for the shabbiness of everyday life. You see, for a little while, I lived a life given only to a few - a life of love. I have heard, “Lives can be turned upside down in a moment’s time”. I believe this. It happened to me…
I was invited to a dinner-dance. As I walked into the ballroom I saw her. Our eyes met. Instantly I was disorientated, breathless and felt a hot, not unpleasant sensation overtake me. It was love at first sight.
She was full figured, well portioned, possessing a beauty seen only on a Master’s canvas. Her wavy, light brown hair caressed a complexion, the color of fresh cream. With a gently turned up nose, full red lips, and eyes, the color of honey, she reminded me of a fairy princess’ picture, I saw long ago. She was wearing a blue and white gingham checkered blouse and flowing tan skirt. In my mind’s eye, behind her was a shimmering silver castle, lovingly outlined by a warm summer's eve painted from that abundant pallet of nature’s colors.
After dinner, we danced and talked like old friends. Later, we walked on the beach. Under a full moon we kissed with a fire, an awakening to intimacy that has never left me.
So many things I remember about her, about us. We held each other through the long nights and longer days, loving and resting, safe in each other’s arms. In such times we found a harmony, a symphony of the purest notes.
I loved ‘my princess’ with that, once in a lifetime passion that both fuels an endless desire and magically allows one to live a lifetime in but a few short moments. It was she who showed me the beauty of this world, the majesty of its people. Never before or since was I under such a spell. I was the Prince, she was the Enchantress.
Unlike many fairy tales, this one did not have a happy ending. In little under a year, we separated. Although I have not seen her for these twenty-eight years, I have followed her career with great interest. It comforts me, somehow, to know she found what she sought.
I wish I could claim that I took her advice to heart. I didn’t. It took many years to grow into that place where I accepted advice. These days, as challenges confront me, especially when tired, frustrated, when feeling that I can’t go on; from the gallery of my memories, I hear her last words…
”Scott, you should not have stopped trying!”

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tiger Is US

Tiger, Tiger, Tiger. My question is "just why are we so surprised?" First, few people are in restrained command of themselves 24/7, or want to be, his robotic golf play aside. Everyone needs some downtime, although Ambien sex with multiple mistresses is far from the best choice. Scary shades of drug dependence a la Michael Jackson. Also interesting is that the onset of the wild behavior seems to coincide with the death of his father, which might be meaningful. Trying to fill a void? Free at last? Think Mike Tyson after Cus D'Amato's passing. When my ex-husband's mother died, on the morning of her funeral, he told me very matter of factly that "now I am going to have to have oral sex every day." I thought it was a strange request, that the timing was inappropriate, and declined to comply. According to his sworn testimony in the divorce proceedings, less than a year later, unbeknownst to me at the time, he was frequenting massage parlors and hookers.
Second, those who work hard tend to play hard as well, going to extremes in all aspects of their lives. We glorify and deify individuals who shatter competitive limits, egging them on to even MORE. MORE, MORE, MORE. We have become a society that indulges in and celebrates excessiveness; his tawdry affairs, with more sordid details dribbling out daily, are but one result. A wife and family were not ENOUGH. The economic downturn does not appear to have diminished this national impulse, just redirected it. Perhaps Tiger's car crash, ironically on Thanksgiving, a distinctly American holiday, will help to wake him, and our narcissistic country, up. Tiger is US.

Karen Ann DeLuca
Michael Bruce Foster

Michael Bruce Foster was born and raised in California. His poems have been published in the City College of San Francisco Literary Magazine, Aurora, MO: Writings from the River, Rapid City Journal, and Mobius, the Poetry Magazine.

He gets his inspiration from his family, nature, and other things that are happening around him.


More poems for you to consider.

Burnt Roses

Burnt roses,

Beauty caught in fire,

Bouquet with blistered thorns,

Blackened stems,

Lie on scorched carpet.

The vase shattered by heat,

Their throats filled with smoke.

Firemen, finding no children,

Gather them up gently.

Death was here.

Too Great a Loss

There are tunnels in our hearts tonight,

Peace has been shattered, the bodies

Of our children, lie scattered on the road.

There are bunkers in our minds tonight,

But they can’t protect us from the bombs

Of screams, threatening to blow out our eyes.

The stunned skeletons of our tears covered

In white linen, to be buried frozen.

There is an emptiness so gapping, like a Black

Hole, nothing can live in this madness.

We dig ditches and bury ourselves. This

Final pain eats through every shroud.

Embalmed in grief we go to a place only

God can find if he will remember.


Four wisdom teeth, lay out on white linen,

Like bodies after the firing squad,

Tossed into a plastic bag grave, forgotten,

Except for the relative who knows they are gone.

Ballet in Flame

A silver moth

Burns to death,

Ballet in flame.



Sharp shadows

Of the consequence.

There Was a Fly

There was a fly

That caught my eye

Under a bush or two.

It wasn’t his wings

But other things

His scarf and his shoes.

Red fedora

To wear tomorrow

When flying over stew.

I watched him stand

In Neverland

His eyes so baby blue.


Frozen, risen sun

Slowly melts its prisms

From within.

Winter grins,

Through cold criticisms,

Its frosted laugh fun.

Hope you like these. Thank you for your consideration.

Michael Bruce Foster

Monday, November 23, 2009

I’m 60 years old school teacher, and have been writing for a long time. Never had anything published. I have about 35 poems and would like to have a published book of my poems someday. But for now to have any of my poems read would be great. I have 3 complete books in my head, but writing them down on paper is my problem. I have sent you my poems, hope you like them. Thanks,

Jack Bellis


Here I am within myself
Wondering if this is I or that was me
Thinking of questions so hard to answer
Why is the sky blue
And why is the depth of my soul so dark
How could I Have done the things I did
Where is the inner soul I knew so well
Why did it leave me so soon
Has moments in time stripped off
A layer of my soul
have I lost a part of my compassion
Have hardships of others
I’ve loved caused callous to engulf my heart
Has misfortunes damaged the fragile barrier
Surrounding my heart
Look at me what do you see
Is this that boy
Smiles, loving, caring and learning.
Absorbing each passing day
Perhaps I have learned that
Too much may be no good
And trying too hard
Sometimes doesn’t work
Is love for others
Slowing slipping away
Have I learned from my pain
Or just avoiding it
Inside I grow more confused
Moments alone seem more like hours
Thoughts and memories are
Draining my life fluid from my soul
Love drips away

Come back, please come back
I liked who I was
Please come back
For I miss the softness and compassion
I now lack
Please return to me myself
I know to be that person called Jack

Where Are You

Where is my power
Where did it go
I thought I was someone special
A mere mortal?
Cuts me to my soul
I thought he loved me
Perhaps he does
But not in the way I imagined
It cuts me to my soul
This feels like a dream
Not real at all
Do I pray to something
Or to nothing at all
Where are you really
Why can’ t I say for sure
Your existence is so very important
Yet your never there when
I open the door
Confused is my logic
I can tell all you exist
Doubts are deep
That it hurts so bad
It confuses me
And makes me feel sad
Why does it have to be this way
Can’t a few know you’re here
If you can’t do it yourself
Let me be the one
I’m already here


What is it that drives us?
Is it the concept
That motivates us all?
Or is it something you sense
While walking through these halls
Our job is to teach a simple concept
You would think
It’s a good one at best
Would we not all agree
Yet there are those who shiver
At the thought to learn?
To be taught?
To expand my mind?
You must be crazy I have
Better things to do with my time
O yes to prove the Concept
To those who resist
The battle line is drawn
So roll up your selves
And dare not make a fist
For it’s us to do battle and always persist
Our Opponent have allies
We capture them from their ears
Game Boys are also seized
With the opponent sometimes in tears
This War is more important
Than the one in Iraq
For the future of
Our country is placed
Squarely on our back


As I look what do I see
I see a young boy in front of me
His smile was bright and so was his life
Who is that boy I do see?

As I look through my eyes
I can see the makings of a kind young being
He was smart and funny and good to be around
He was the type of boy I wish I knew now

Bright was his life for his potential was grand
Nothing could stop him well at least nothing at hand
As I look very hard through my eyes I don’t see
In the distance the coming of a great tragedy

As I look I can see the boy didn’t think
That wouldn’t happen to me
For I can see his hope and great possibility
Never did he think that could happen to me

Here I look and still see the glimmer
As his push for a better life that starts to shimmer
Death his about as he wonders why
This can’t be real as he often cries
It is I and this can’t be
For doesn’t he recognize it is me

As I dare to look again more pain do I see?
For the young man still trying oh yes so
Desperately wishing for a break from tragedy
I can see his puzzled face as again he asks
Why is this happening to me?

It’s getting harder to look for the wear and tear
Is showing quite clear
I feel sorry for the young man though I can’t do a thing
For I only can see and absolutely do nothing

As I squint I can see the hardship and agony
Sometimes I wish my own eyes would fail me
But as I look and I must
The pain in his face is now painted on an
Older man with no glimmer of hope
And the age was drawn by an artist of
Despair rather than that of one with the Almighty’s flare

As I look with a heavy heart
I have seen all I can bare
For his life has taught me all is certainly not fair
Potential is great and brightness as well
But I can’t do a thing I can’t even yell
For the boy to man I have seen through my eyes
I now know what he lacked but way to late to act
Simply put I am looking through the eyes of
The shell of an old man named Jack

Jack Bellis


When I look in the mirror
What do I see
Is it me or him
So I ask who are you and I say you are real and I am the
I am who you wish to be and you are you the one you have to be
I am the one who hit the home run I am the winner you
dream to be
You are the one who works those simple jobs I am the
One that travels the world
I am the one that mingles with the stars you are the one
That mingles too long
You are the one that has all the responsibilities
You are the one with all the obligations I am the one who gets you through when
you are weaken by all you have to do
I am the one that holds you up
when the problems mount
I am the one that takes you where
you have to go to rest your mind and feel
the peace that helps you through
I am the one you wish to be
I am the one you dream was me

Friday, November 20, 2009

Everyday Life: Social Smackdown at the Supermarket

The weekend after Veterans' Day, I went shopping at my local Giant to purchase some raspberries and yogurt that were on sale. The one tucked away in a currently bucolic area of Alexandria, formerly and aptly known as the Hamlets, which the City and its partners are now turning into a construction zone and is soon to become a concrete cookie cutter copy of everywhere else. As I checked out, there was suddenly a commotion in the adjoining aisle. Apparently perturbed at waiting too long behind a woman whose payment was government subsidized, a middle aged man "lost it." Her lengthy tinkering with the contents of her cart to come within a certain dollar amount pushed him over the edge and he loudly let loose on how his tax dollars were partially paying her tab anyway, so "here's the difference, let's move the line."
And with that this sleepy little community store erupted into a microcosm of what's troubling America today. Too many handouts - to the rich and to the poor, squeezing those stuck in the middle to, well, class warfare and a social smackdown at the supermarket. Rapacious residential landlords, in subprime hock themselves, seeing only visions of dollar signs in their tenants eyes, exacting a hidden human toll. Well ahead of schedule, Mark Center is losing its neighborly neighborhood feel. Which is why I, and many others, are leaving. Bah, humbug and Ho, Ho, Ho.

Karen Ann DeLuca
Mr. Logan, I am submitting the following three poems for possible inclusion in A Brilliant Record magazine. Please let me know if you need any additional information or if I can answer any questions for you. Thank you, Justin P Lambert

The Wake

Forced conversations in a hushed tone
Awkward laughter, guilty cheer.

“She looks so natural.”
No, she doesn't. Did you know her?
Doesn't this bother anyone else?
We stand around this artificially
darkened room, trying not to
acknowledge why we're here.
“She went peacefully.”
Is that supposed to make me feel
better about her not being here?
She should have fought, tooth and nail!
Why is she there, lying still,
while I'm here, comforting strangers?
“It was her time.”
How dare you? How dare you say
that she deserved this? Or that God
deserves her more than I do!
What kind of God do you believe in?
Not the God I know. Not the God she knew.

Forced conversations in a hushed tone
Whispered questions, shamed ignorance.


I want to believe.
I need to imagine
I can do what you need,
I can be what you want.
Tell me what's right.
Tell me who to be.
We work on these revolving doors
until we're dizzy and sick.
I know there is more.
I know you have wished-
I lost that once.
I never want to lose it again.
Forget about the past.
Forget what I have forgotten.
We ramble in and out of confusion
until we've forgotten everything
except us.


Mind thinning--
Gray and fuzzy flights of recall
dapple harder-won concrete memories
creating shadows from no substance
smoothing sharp contours and carving
tiny holes in what I thought
was my life.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dear Godfrey Logan:

Please find below four poems for _(A Brilliant) Record Magazine: "Confession #12", "Inventor's Glee", "On Being Human" and "Your Odds".
My work has been featured or is upcoming in Two Review, decomp, Poesia, Ouroboros Review, MiPoesias and Existere, among others. My chapbook Micropleasure was published by Leadfoot Press in 2008. I reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I assist in editing the eclectic literary journal Third Wednesday.

Janann Dawkins

Confession #12

There is no speaking.
She talks to herself
even though she has

a roommate who won't
talk to her. The roommate
stalks through the house,

stirs the widening doorframes,
retreats to the bedroom
behind her head, riffle

shuffles for a game of solitaire.
On the other hand she has
a jukebox full of atonal music,

enough to speak to the damned.
She talks to the music, plays her hand
and demonstrates the mania

of listening everywhere:
she closes her eyes
and stares.


Inventor’s Glee
(in the wake of a successful poem)

My entire
tarpaulin skin
shimmers like a
licked clitoris
on orgasm,

my ears whine with the charge
of camera-flash,

my shadow
becomes my secret admirer

and my neurons anticipate
the synapses of others.

I'm thus afflicted for hours.


On Being Human

Eat, sleep, and excrete.
With luck, you fuck.


Your Odds

You can’t elude it. Were it
a fire you’d trance

as your pantslegs
dazzle with heat.

It’s red; it’s black.
No matter your turn, it’s there

to greet you, the beggar
trawling for change: you,

upended, surrender
your last bit.
Dear Mr. Logan,

Please consider my poem, "Eleven,"
for publication in (A Brilliant) Record Magazine.
Thanks for your time.

Matt Caliri


O Father Of Mercy
Wash out this grief you shower
Over me and the land,

Ring out the spirit
And Saturday our love's weeks
Like light through locked twigs,

Beyond the puddled boy
Crying in vain for solace
Sung all about him

With worried weather,
Arise in your emptiness
Head-high like the sun.

Stars are for darkness.
May each night blanket blessings
Down Heart's corridor

And the floors of joy
Shift shapelessly through lives
Like mud on apples

In a woven dreamland,
Floating as God's single thought,
Making rich your harmony

As the cross flies off
And the Bible loads squirt guns
And "grace" replaces "debt"

Replaces tongue and
Speech in swirling compassion
Viewed from your own chair

You made from pictures
And lightbulbs and fake noses
And dusty open cheer

Up! The baby smiles
Your world of grief has shattered.
Light has pierced the dark.
Well Godfrey, ask and ye shall receive! Sorry if I have been awol. Glad to see that Record still rolls along. I think James D. Ardis shows some good promise. Anyways, the last couple of months have been busy with re-orienting my life around and working at summer camp. Nevertheless, here are some poems for your enjoyment and consideration. Hope all is well, - Ben

In the End is the Word Our passion sets up apart
With a light that goes on and off
In its own way and pace,
We recognize ourselves as we rise,
Touch the floor with our feet
And head off into the day,
Each made whole by a destination
That does not overlap with any other,
Though the paths might collide.

God is another name for our desire,
And the idol reflects back to us,
We celebrate it and pray to no other,
In time we leave all churches
Close all the holy books
In order to turn the world our own way
Upside down with us on top,
And as each of us takes to such cycles,
We have loves, no enemies,
The idols are real and all else is an illusion,
There are only obstacles in holding each other,
Our passion sets us apart.

Runaway Horses

I became used to the new shapes
That she made in the bed quite easily,
Even when they changed with breathing.

Now the sheets are flat and seem
To go on forever, I remember
The way she would block the moonlight

And the moonlight now flows
All over me and I am drowning,
That feeling was never there before.

Her perfume never smothered,
Never filled my throat or lungs,
It reached my heart and mind first

Before taking time to travel and circulate,
It gave me clouds that I alone
Could sense on otherwise clear days.

Now I roll up towards her again,
Can she hear my breathing?
Has she been remembering my arms at night?

I have been her perfect tourist,
Making a souvenir of everything given,
Even the bites and cuts.

One certainty, I have been missing her,
The question is in other bosom,
Will she ever miss not seeing me?

Empty Squares

The floor was too hard,
Perhaps under it was better,
Sleeping with the pipes and rats,
But I had a sponge put out
And slept on the division bar,
Thinking of myself as a remainder.

The sponge was hard too,
It was trying to flatter the floor,
I tried to make a field of sheets,
Where I would be held up
On a small patch of thin ice.

Of course it was too cold
And I felt like I had slipped,
I imagined my pillow was a cloud
Raining on everything below me,
It drew the lids down well
And laced the lashes shut.

The Age Demands It

If this is a iron age, so be it,
A golden age shines,
But bends too easily for descendents,
It never breaks and is rubbed thin,
A silver age stretches time
Into a lake to sit and glitter,
But it tarnishes and causes insanity,
Carrying lead under its skin,
A bronze age is a stronger imitation
Of the golden, but an iron age
Will give us something heavy,
Something useful for swords and ploughs.

Index of First Lines

A cold coming we had of it,
After the torchlight, red on sweaty faces,
Although I do not hope to turn again
Among the smoke and fog
Of a December afternoon.

Midwinter spring is its own season.
Here the crow starves
The songsters of the air repair,
The winter evening settles down.

The eagle soars in the summit of heaven,
There are those who would build the temple,
Let us go then, you and I
We are the hollow men.

A More Perfect Union

The earth is not perfect,
Not as a flat circle making
Euclid and Pythagoras giddy,
Or a sphere that spins,
It bulges at the middle
Like us in old age,
And why should it not,
It’s got billions of candles
Still left to blow from so many birthdays,
Attended by a family of planets
Growing distant every year.

It does not even travel
In perfect circles, it does not move
As Ptolemy and Aristotle
Tried to choreograph it,
It does not stay still, silent
Firmly grounded, because
It is the ground itself, it had nothing
To reach out and hold onto,
The thing comes back to where it started,
But wobbles in an oval, drunk
On the gravity of the sun.

Everyday perfection is a dull joy,
Bright for a moment, colors
And shapes too well defined
Begin to melt us, break us down,
We feel apart from the earth,
And disgusted with ourselves,
We cannot have such white teeth,
Happy families, clean bathrooms,
The world we make was imperfect,
Off-center, poorly defined, the edges
Blending into one another, the horizon
The only straight line to worry about.

Dreams are now our approachable reality,
The waking life is a mirror,
Reversed, imperfect, a shadow
Of a Platonic realm, the veil
Has fallen, with curtains not far behind,
What was always present, always real,
The stench and the grind,
Is now the treasured thing, the exotic,
The vanguard and the avant-garde
Lead us back to the cave.

The perfect things I store
In a menagerie between my ears,
On a shelf with the straightest lines
I’ve ever seen, I take them out
When the day is rough, when
The wobble is too much,
Or the spin too fast, when
I want the oval to drag us into Mars,
Then will be the time for perfect things.

A Narrative Maybe

Let your envy perfect you,
That flame inside, make it
Brighter, and burn away
Those impurities, that heaviness
That kept you down.

They spend too much time
Waiting for chemicals,
Elements are slow to react
With words placed on tables,
There is antidote, because
There is no poison, all life
Is non-toxic.

When I sit and admire you
Across the room, don’t
Take that as a compliment,
You had nothing to do
With that nose, those lips,
(I look around the piercings,
My eyes are not magnets.)

I don’t understand, we’re right,
We made love, I think,
And I tried to sell what came out,
Don’t look ashamed, you asked
For ten percent, but the merchants
Were picky, their dollars smell
Like vinegar, they want to keep
Digits constant as their fingers shake.

Sorry it’s blue,
My chemical companions,
Do not mourn the loss
Of synchronicity,
Remember someone
Is always finishing your sentences
Somewhere else,
No one writes alone.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


The Poetess

Oh, Jesus Christ,
another message light blinking
What is this man thinking?

Night after night,
taking such delight in flooding my aura,
my hearing, my sight with lewd, lascivious
desires to own me, touch me,
undress and possess me--

a woman he’s never met

I suppose that will teach me
to try to be kind to a clearly lonely,
warped and unloved mind
his soul aching for resurrection,
so desperate for connection
in a world deliberately passing him by
unwanted, ignored

Now I see why

Godammit ,
It’s still ringing!
Can't he just leave me alone?
I want to be able to pick up my phone
without hearing the heavy broken voice
of celibate desires, unquenched fires
saturating my senses with his wanting

I’m being victimized, terrorized,
dissected and vandalized,
my thoughts and words stolen,
looted, manipulated and diluted
by a strangers idea of love perverted
and diverted my way

Is there no disguise in which to hide
From these probing, voyeuristic eyes?


The Reader

Oh, look at her words gloriously heard
solely in my mind as I read them convinced
she cries out in a night echoing with pain
from love torn wounds only I can hear and heal

How I long to feel her skin
shimmering white, trembling in delight,
bathed in love starved, lingering kisses
laid upon a body unknown,
yet hungered for

Desires inspired by this verbal siren,
I can close my eyes, almost feeling her presence
breathing deeply of her essence
unknowingly consumed by the fires
she’s ignited with her words

No one understands her like I--
Perhaps I should pick up my pen,
remind her yet again

I must open her eyes,
make her see she belongs to me,
destined to be mine …

… forever

awh @March 2009

The Rumor Game

Ah, he said, she said,
it’s the hottest game in town!
Cock that verbal gun, take aim and fire!
Let’s see who can cause the most dissension,
get the most attention, with their
worded blood lust desire?

Load up those bullets
and shoot ‘em kids,
let’s fire at the weak and downhearted
Aim for the jugular, we’ll all take turns
and it doesn’t matter who started

‘Cuz it’s a vicious world,
gotta learn to play that game
Who can we chew up and spit out today?
It doesn’t matter where we aim that pain,
as long as you know how to play

The rules will apply,
as rumors run rampant,
in the game of, ‘what can we start?
Now load your guns, and check your ammo,
we’ll blow those bastards apart!

And we have no shame,
we just mow ‘em down,
we’ll take no prisoners and run
We can step over their bodies,
while trashing their names

But of course, it’s all done in fun!

So come one, come all
take your aim and best shot,
let’s see your talent for wounding a soul
Come on, come on, let’s see what you’ve got
let’s see who you run with and know!

Yes, it’s a vicious world,
and a damned rough game
It’s dog eat dog as they say,
But if you want to survive,
to stay on top…

Then you’d better
learn how to play

awh @ 2007

Amerika Idolizes

Across the nation
Worshipers on
Bended knees
Heads bowed
In adoration before
32” Flat screen
Neon bright a
Shining light
In the dark
Marbleized eyes
Blazing from
Faces split by
KFC slick smiles
As a new
Messiah is
And created
Specifically to
Please and
Appease the
of the masses

On your knees Amerika!
A new Idol is born.

Awh @ may 2009

Wind Up Doll

Pull me from
That dusty shelf
Wind me up
And watch me go

A song and dance
For your pleasure
Your own little
In action

Yes sir! That’s Me!
Your own personal pocket pal!

Occupying you
For the moment
Killing a little time
In your life

But don’t wind too hard
My batteries aren’t charged
And I can be worn down
If I’m over-wound ….

And you'll no longer have
Your wind up doll~

Awh @2008

Cat 5 Alicia

There’s a storm blowing thru
my ravenous soul tonight
relentlessly whipping the winds
of my personal war around me
with the velocity, the ferocity
of a category five hurricane

Harsh furies agitate my sober atmosphere
with the momentum of a bullet train;
menacing to the fragile sanities
being torn from me and ferried out of reach

In righteous wrath and fear,
I raise my fist violently against this turbulent chaos
funneling, channeling the vicious dark spirits
seeking refuge in my core,
the eye of my storm--
this angry ocean of impurity pulling me out to sea,
leaving me washed away lost
in the waves of madness and despair

Battle weary with my rationale threatened,
my voice a howling fury indignant against
the forces ripping away the last precious
threads of my sanity,
the violence wreaking havoc on the wastelands
of my sorrowful, desperate excesses,
I capitulate, swallowing my demons down

Hurricane Alicia abated, my spirit sedated,
I lie hypnotic and calm,
flat lining in the seas of tranquility

Patiently waiting for the next tempest,
I lie dormant and calm in the eye of my storm

©awh july 2007


I lie quietly watching you slowly advance
to your place of worship, driven by
your vocation, your quest for meditation,
zealous redemption of your faith

With no hesitation, reservation
or doubt, you kneel at my alter,
head bowed, sipping of my warm wine

Taste my consecrated flesh,
Oh, sweet sacrament

Slip into my feminine sanctum,
we’ll meet in blessed communion,
professing our sins in beatified union

Reach with me our heavenly rapture,
your lips divine, warm and sweet on mine

We will lie spent, completed,
contented, languid, liquid salvation,
in our confessional

awh @ 2008

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I am pleased to Alicia Winski has been named the Featured Writer for the Winter Issue of Record Magazine. Please check out her work on the site and in the upcoming print issue. She has a great future ahead of her as a poet and a writer!

Godfrey Logan
Creator/Editor Record Magazine
Hi. I found you in the Poets Market. Took a look at the blogspot thing but didn't really see any kind of reference to a magazine. Are you still taking submissions? If so, I'd love to submit. I liked quite a bit of what I read on the blog.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


Alicia Winski


Old lace

Fine wine

Brushed silk

The world mine

Life simply sweet

No cares or


No deeper meanings

Unpleasant revelations

A time of few trials

Little discontent

When I dreamt my

Girlish dreams

And I knew

What love meant...

Now with dreams


My hourglass lay


In shards

Around my feet


With the


Sands of time

While the

Soft ashes

Of my lost


Swirl gently

Around me

Like feathers


In the wind...

Little Red Riding Hood

I can see your eyes

Watching me

Where ever I go





Covetous and


…so frightening…

I can feel the heat

From your fingers

Aching to

Touch me

Break me

Teeth sharpened

Read to devour

And take me

Swallowing me


Your Lips licked in

Lusty satisfaction

Gorged and plumped

With the extraction

Of the last vestige

Of privacy and

Innocence I

Held onto

Brutally ripped

From me

The fragile emotional


I had retained



Untouched now


Soiled by the

Impurity of



My blood runs cold feeling

Your lustful need

The avaricious greed

To feed on me



In the air around me

The main dish for your

Solitary table….

Will you eat me whole

Or slice me up into

Bite sized pieces

Tender morsels

Sinfully flavored to

Savor at your leisure?

With nowhere to hide

I crawl inside myself

A frightened little girl

Hoping not to be seen

A Little Red Riding Hood

Trembling in fear

From the big bad wolf

Knowing that he’s

Not just near but

Arrived and

Here knocking…

…at my door…
Mr. Wilson was BORN IN 1941 IN Ithaca, New York and was raised in the Finger Lakes
Region of upstate New York. He was employed by the Traveler’s Insurance Company for 27 years from 1967 to 1994.He retired in 1994 and became disabled with his diabetes and heart conditions. He continues to live in Vernon, CT .In 1989 to 1991 he had 65 poems published in various publications. His poems are drawn from his own life’s experiences. He presents rich images through the strong and interesting use of his poetic vocabulary and language. He has continued his poetry
to the present and is proud to be a poet of two centuries. He encourages others to keep poetry alive. In 2009 Mr. Wilson has had poems accepted for publication by:
Westward Quarterly, Cloud Appreciation Society, Nomad’s Choir, The Poet’s Art
Star*Line , Write On.!!, She-mom (A Brilliant) Record. Ceremony and Fullosia,

James Webb Wilson

The Film Ran in Reverse

The film ran in reverse

We saw the combine put wheat in the field

We saw the old barn falling together

We saw the cat jump up on a large post

We saw the catcher pitch the ball to the pitcher

We saw a log sawed and chopped

Reassemble itself back on the wood pile

We saw the end throw the football

Over his shoulder to the quarterback

We saw jet planes in weird retrograde

A diver came out of the water arcing

Up to land feet first on the spring board

Rabbits and squirrels in reverse

Going where they’ve always been

Then when my Dad backed up the car

It looked oddly normal

Two reversals made it right

In Their Own time Defined

We walk along a time line with fashions and fads

Of common products and commercial ads

Novels of the nineties can now refer

To Nintendo, Walkman, CD’s and fake fur

Word processors, lasers and microwave dishes

To cable –HBO, Sports Channels

Query languages – relational data bases

We see the trail of life littered

With the signs of the times

Recycling bins in purposeful hues

Crash diets, the Heimlich maneuvers

Closet doors with slots and louvers

We shall remember these littered time

The fast pace of change

Technology builds in obsolescence

Resale’s, upgrades, to better

Their quota, the market share

We talk the time line

Anachronisms nonverbally defined

Monday, October 19, 2009

James D. Ardis is a poet currently attending the University of Arkansas for Creative Writing. At nineteen years old, he’s already been published over 30 times by journals such as Word Riot, Teen Ink and Subtle Tea. Until the journal’s demise in April of 2008, James D. Ardis had a column in Zine 5 magazine entitled Idle Lines for the Misinformed. He’s currently wrapping up work on his first book of poetry: Letters on Sunspots. James is also helping to establish the first ever literary journal in the history of the University of Arkansas. As an active Buddhist, James’s work includes many references to Buddhist philosophy. Popular culture and the motif of self discovery also pop up constantly in his work.

What is matter? Does it dance?

I challenge every teacher to come up with one question
for every test that goes beyond
notes taken during a lecture…
bolded terms on the sides of textbooks…
a question that goes beyond…
An answer.

What is Matter? Does it Dance?
Do swing sets miss you when you get older?

English Major Woman

Her feet cry out to me for salvation
from the shoes that demand five toes
to converge in a single point.
The proverbial “toe-cleavage” throbbing red
As she mangles her textbooks with bookmarks and ear tags.

She plays Sudoku in the newspaper during Medieval Lit.
fingers bound around a pencil with a brand new eraser
for all the mistakes she's bound to make
as a professor in her late eighties
strings together her final thoughts
before the end of class like an epitaph,
spoken in perfect Iambic Pentameter.

Ferris Wheels In Pripyat

Discontented bumper cars wade in melting snow
thin wires cling to the decimated ceiling,
The grovel gathers along electronic pathways
a steering wheel rests beside the passenger's seat.

The classroom seats are firmly planted on the ground
dirt gathering on the floor like pencil shavings,
A light panel collapses between the aisles
like a student slapped for insubordination

A Ferris wheel plagued with rust, arms bent in exhaustion
letting its fingers,the gondolas, dangle low,
wonders to itself if it could even rotate
if it cared to try.

The 4th of July on November 22nd

A 12-year-old Asian child smokes a cigarette
touching the smuggled fireworks like a holy shrine
the stench of 7-11 Taquitos dances around his friend,
his protruding gut and the sweltering hive of acne sprinkled across his face tell the story of many late night Slurpee binges.

The cold November air, the ying
contrasted by the lit match, yang
collide at the core of the firework's fuse,
the first flints spark like magnets
their tango as passionate as a Latino mamba.

Flying in the air reluctantly on its kamikaze mission,
the crackle like popcorn as the rocket releases its cascade of color,
the calm November evening shattered in calamity
by the rocket's pure, impressive light.

An entire town collectively, leave the warm embrace of blankets
and crave a hot dog drizzled in ketchup.


While her friends pay to get their fingernails painted at stores,
she stays at home and sinks her hand into bowls of red paint
hurling it at the canvas, bombarding the tranquil plain
with sheer passion so it won’t take bottles of Tequila
to see those strawberry fields forever like her idols.

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's Bad, But Not More Than a Private Affair

Showed the Full Monty to "Monty,"
Pants apparently open Worldwide,
Affairs with female staffers, while in committed relationships,
And married - on the side!

Caught with Stephanie, almost half your age,
So smitten with "Smithy," you drove her home,
Sucking face in Haldeman's driveway,
Did you think he would leave that alone?

It takes two to tango,
Like her brother, she liked "dancing" with the stars,
Not a cheap or stupid trick; not "Dutch" to pay for her law school,
And ask her to be your personal attorney after she passed two bars.

The King of Late Night finally,
Well, at least you got a ratings boost,
With Leno gone, probably would have happened anyway,
Extortion, as the way to rule the roost?!

Sexual harassment?, workplace hostility?
Look closer, sly Stephanie was playing a pair,
Two timing, working both sides of the street,
Hedging her bets on a lair and a "royal" spare.

NOW and Gloria Allred entreaties aside,
Until recently, apparently closed, consensual circles - or triangles - of love,
If employees didn't know and jobs were unaffected,
Where's the need to involve legal review from above?

Kudos to you for taking responsibility,
For Harry's sake, I hope you can "fix" things with your wife,
Become her Late Knight and learn a lesson at 62,
When in the public eye, be a better role model in life.

And while Letterman's healing his family,
Instead of feeding our appetite for salacious fare,
Let's look away and not make his misadventures what they are not,
It's bad, but not more than a private affair.

Karen Ann DeLuca

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dear Godfrey
I am an aspiring poet. I have written 77 books of poetry over the past several years and 15 novels; I am new to publishing and am always looking for an audience, I have published 46 poems in a variety of periodicals. I Love to write and offer an experience to the reader. I am a member of The American Poets Society. I hope you enjoy my work.

Ron Koppelberger

Sated Dreams

Against the blazing twilight horizon in passions

Of orchid sashay and rusty erstwhile forevers,

A pulse in the heartfelt redemption

Of currents in cause and desires alight, alive,

Akin to the epic assurance of evermore and a

Star, an invocation in the tinder of sated dreams

And sparrow revelations in black and


Tender Embraces

In embryonic assurances of undisguised love, the

Passionate wills of what is bidden by the saints and

Skies in amber hued prisms of

Existence. The hope of well fed mistresses

And clean cured calm, a pleasure in the serenity

Of tender embraces and eyes in rouge ascension.

Passion and Presence

The ecstasy in fame and strengths

Of wisdom, in purpose and exhibited daze, in dare

And rare wills of repentant troth, in absolute wild,

Sensual abandon and favors of satisfying,

Visible bloom, the purity in sapphire skies and

Twilight fray, the buzz in bones of dusty, desolate

Passion and presence. The seasons in sage arrival

And bidden apple awareness.

Silent Touch

Hyacinth perfections in azure prayers of romance,

In mischief and wild coquette, the passion of tear drop honey

In amber asylums of beauty, existing for the

Love of silent touch

And swathed assurances of devotion,

Wandering by the precious flame

Of yearning hearts.

Sweet Sanctity

Remedies of discovery and vigilance,

An arrow in ascending melancholy

And balanced spectacle,

A trapping in torn vestures of charm,

Descried by the touch of loves sweet sanctity

And passions arrival, the flourishing bond of devoted

Security and care for the ancient arts

Of affection, a tear in gentle waves

Of sufferance and radiant will.

Exhaling Desire

The caress of your tears against my lips

As the world shadows our love and the essence

Of ethereal defiance, sublime temptation to worship

The sustenance of your amber eyes and bonded

Bidden heart, a testimony in rapture

And warm suspiring grace as we share the spaces

Between moments of exhaling


Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker and elsewhere. Family of Man (Pavement Saw Press) is scheduled for Fall 2009. For more information, including his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” and a complete bibliography, please visit his website at <>.

Eight months your heart
that blinking flag
mountaineers still carry to the sun
-you came down
with only a crib sheet
folded around the light

-it’s enough! The air
ignites, cries out
pours down your bones
gutting your throat.
You drink maps
waiting for a name

named Eight.
The July you couldn’t find
looms in front
covered with snow -Eight

just born and your heart
one month short
rises as each morning the sun
somehow must be carried down
tiptoe, asleep on its side

and the July you couldn’t climb
will always be too dry, too hot
your skin burn out
-a druggist walks past
wraps something for shade
and inside the jar you hear that fire
folding around your name.

July. The highest month
lost, climbing to claim the sun
without you, step by step
like a small breath
tossing among the snowflakes
or the beautiful shadow from your heart.

The mirror a convict holds out
and between two bars
sees the long, steel corridor :the sun

aches too, hunting down the light
that escapes each evening, hides
a few hours, a few clouds, the cold
the lifetime -what did you expect

holding out your hand
as a dorsal fin will deflect
and everything swerves to the floor
-I’m drowning
so close to your lips

and my heart held out
still looks down the hall
the dust covered breasts
no longer thirsty for lips
or hands almost on fire

-a small mirror shares my room
with an electric switch
with light that kills on the spot

and what did you expect
holding out the sun
till it finds a window
covered with frost
and how the curtain warmed your shoulders
and kisses and yes, birds and oceans too
are hiding somewhere from my arms.

The plumage in this narwhal’s side
lifts as every birth tangled in water
bleeds from a place it’s not wanted
-one feather left
splashing and splashing, the sea
dead, drifting, all these waves
torn from one gill

-night after night a breath
so huge in my chest
and the Earth rolling on its side
bloated with air and pain.
Choking almost helps.

I carry this enormous breath
back to its sea, its silt again
then rise into moonlight :tides
trying to revive these waves
as if underneath all wings
there are no roots and water now

weighs less: the whale
tumbles each night closer
circling to gather speed
and its blood
as streams will wither
on the mountain inside

-in this darkness
everything is red :the moon
floating away or I cough
or walk like a sunrise

-again that birth: the sky
chased from my side and emptying.

The cots, the stove, the crew
unclaimed in this Nissen hut :my mailbox
between twelve more :a camp
ditched, the road too narrow, curved
from rain and letters home, tissue thin
too weak to lift my lips, my slow
wide, rippling sweep
crumpled to tin, its great arc
now eyes and claws and thirst, the flag
soaked in blood, waving where it fell.

People I don't know send letters
promising to lose. I've already won!
A SOUTHERN CAPE FOR TWO that couldn't wait
printed on the envelope --my hangar's

full. Too many capitals and these stamps
each day heavier :monuments
defaced the first time up
tenacious as fly paper

--I can't separate the mail
just by calling out, every name
sounds as if mine at some briefing
we agreed the last one left
a prize that sounded more like laughter

--the letters too heavy now :a heap
as clouds still gather each evening red
--the last carrying their dead
to the pile: every sky

waiting on my table to be sent home
as a flower reaching into the world
or letters with my name outside.

No hardhat and this stubborn doctor
too close, my heart
battering his head --his timid fingers
knocking to unearth from my chest
the great cave, the fire that listens

for flesh --he collects and keeps a chart
slants is pencil-thin light
writes on my eyes
something I want forgotten

--without a rope, the light
lowered through my throat.
He says my breath is still in place
warm from human sacrifice.
He asks how old I am

and my heart by milliliters
is carried off on a tray
as if a wince could tell
what blood was like in ancient times

the blood that always saw me naked
the blood long before the Earth
began to beat :the avalanche
still gushing out my arms
my colors and perfumes.

This doctor's used to snapping nerves
with pointed hammers and whisk brooms
--he digs bareheaded, uncovers
the murmur stone by stone :so many deaths
for one brief grave :my heart
as sometimes an old school song
and the soft drizzle that was a name
before his cold fingers, the fierce cough
he tells me to try.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What's Virginia to Do?

Bob McDonnell pledges to reopen the now 19 closed rest stops within 90 days of taking office as Governor in January 2010. Not to be outdone, Creigh Deeds claims he will do it in 60 days. The Republican candidate's website sports a Press Release outlining a four pronged approach; the Democratic contender is mostly a belated echo chamber, sans concrete funding implementation details. In view of the public backlash, both are giving lipservice to the issue in an effort to get elected. But the discourse over the transportation budget still seems to be focused on roads and rail, with the human capital they serve and the needs of the here and now taking a backseat. With the recent closure of the Interstate 66 W Welcome Center at Manassas, approximately two months after the 18 others, and with less than two months remaining in the campaign, the question then becomes, roughly two months after inauguration, what's Virginia to do?
Lest we forget, the state built and is charged with maintaining these areas. So closing them is a lost investment of taxpayer money and there will still be the cost of minimal upkeep anyway to avoid their becoming roadside eyesores. Not 9 million a year, or a more limited operational budget, but not a zero outlay either. So why not get creative?
Run a Commonweathwide contest to decorate these monuments for contemporary times, Virginia's equivalent to DC's Donkeys and Elephants or New York City's Bulls and Bears. Then they'd be much prettier, and have dual drawing power as tourist magnets. Think of it as putting lipstick on a pig. Replace those unsightly blockades with toll taking devices at the entrances. I'd be happy to toss a coin as I go through a booth to get to the facility - and photo op - on the other side. I suspect others would as well.
Federal Law requires that rest stops cannot be commercialized unless they are located on a turnpike or toll road. Duh! Just rename the roads and/or start charging for their use (another revenue raiser; West Virginia did that) if you want to continue that hoary, ghost of the 1980s, "get it off the government's balance sheet" strategy and contract them out. It's not like more toll roads aren't coming somewhere down the pike anyway, as a next step in making up the general budget shortfall or just paying for the infrastructure. VDOT recently laid off 600 employees, idled more trucks and is committed to seeing only current contracts to completion. Let's call Routes 81, 95, 85, 64 and/or 66 intrastate something scenic or historic. How about Kaine Turnpike, in honor of this turning point in our state's history? Monikers memorializing current Virginia Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer and VDOT Commissioner David Ekem would also be appropriate.
Both candidates favor this approach, with McDonnell's appellation for it being "creative financing structures," but they seem to be banking on a Congressional waiver to allow businesses to run the Commonwealth's rest stops. According to the Federal Highway Commission statistics, that has only occurred in a handful of cases. More problematic to overcome may be local mercantile contrariety, the reason one of Virginia's own, Eric Cantor, actively opposed the Wolf Amendment during Governor Kaine's failed attempt.
Organizations could sponsor part of, one, or more; Adopt a Highway, Adopt a Rest Stop. McDonnell proffers this as an "immediate" approach. Why not consider it permanently? In return, the group's name would be put on a plaque, or a road sign if one entity alone adopted one area; public good will for the adopters would be generated at the same time.
Or convert them to State Police barracks, with ancillary public restrooms monitored by surveillance cameras. The Republican candidate proposes assigning those sentenced to community service or eligible for work release programs to do the landscaping and custodial work. Since money is the issue, this will put Virginia's finest closer to those they love to chase and need to watch, maximizing the bang for the taxpayer buck. Boy, would that make me feel safe, and void the argument claiming rest stop crime. Texas has done this, and added playgrounds and interactive kiosks, converting rest stops into attractions. Iowa has included gift shops featuring local (Norwegian) products. The Commonwealth could do something similar with its unremarkable Plain Janes, going beyond the beautification suggested above, highlighting regional foods, wines and artisans, thus blunting parochial opposition. A welcoming Travel Plaza, giving the captive itinerant a snapshot sense of the state, moving the mall ever closer to the highway....and more potential retail traffic. The sweet smell of peanuts and sales tax, as we stop, shop and go. All for just a few additional frills! So why has the Governor pointed us in the opposite direction? And why do both candidates primarily want to follow suit, with McDonnell going a step further by including divestiture of the state ABC stores in the transportation discourse? Spruce up their lackluster facades and product mix as well, and make "Shopping Virginia" the patriotic alternative to not only save the rest stops, but to augment the transportation and general budget, avoiding the distasteful and divisive revenue raisers of hiking taxes, something Deeds recently indicated he would consider as a last resort, or off shore drilling, which is on the Republican's radar. Sometimes you have to spend a little money to make much more. Inspire "Virginialism," a sonorous brand, instead of separatist, regional warfare.
This state had the misfortune of not having Maryland's foresight in grandfathering the commercialization of its rest stops before the federal law took effect. OOOPS. Louisiana has closed 24 of its 34 since 2000; they have a good excuse: Katrina. Maine, Vermont and Colorado have plans to do so; others, including Rhode Island, Indiana and Arizona are "thinking about it." Depending on what happens in the Commonwealth, the movement may be gaining momentum. The slogan of our 2009 Travel Guide says "Live passionately." Before we don't have the need to print as many of them, let's find some enthusiasm for tackling the problem from a human and fiscal standpoint. We in Virginia can be at the forefront of a win-win solution and conceptual redesign. For the state to be "...for lovers," on this, the fortieth anniversary of the slogan, it first needs to show its residents and potential tourists some love. For the candidates, that means blowing more than an air kiss to get a vote and planting more than goblins and skeletons, of a plan, or of their or the Commonwealth's past, on the cheeks of the James River. It is not the time for another OOOPS. Or Trick or Treat.

Karen Ann DeLuca

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A KISS to DRIVE Health Care Reform

My health care plan, a COBRA by default, is one of those Cadillacs that covers all sorts of things I know I will never use, and many I hope to avoid. Maternity care and family planning - I'm almost 55, and so far, childless... and not a man. Contraceptive drugs and devices - I'm post menopausal. Infertility services, double ditto. Smoking cessation - I've gone this far without a puff. A boatload of mental health and substance abuse benefits - the strongest thing I've ever imbibed is a couple of cups of morning joe and I'm probably one of the few Baby Boomers who's never inhaled. The plan is also light to non existent on services that I actually do use, such as dental care, acupuncture and massage therapy. For almost $500/mo, I get far more than I will ever utilize, yet to procure the most comprehensive coverage for my particular needs, I had no choice but to enroll in a program that covers infinitely more. To do otherwise would have left me with hefty out of pocket expenses far greater than any premium differential.
My health care plan is part of the current federal government "insurance exchange." Yes, there is an assortment, twenty one plans to be exact, with premiums varying from roughly $275 to about $550, with the lower cost options being the more restrictive HMOs. But even with such a panoply, my complaints highlight the problem, often overlooked and ignored, of fitting individual requirements, the proverbial "square peg," into the insurer provided "round holes."
The solution would be a cafeteria of choices within a plan, where one would be obliged to carry certain basic government mandated coverage which addresses common financial and social depletion risks, but could opt out of services that were clearly personally irrelevant to lower the premium. True consumer choice, not the current - and proposed - systems which offer one-size-fits-all products from an insurer determined menu. While this might have been difficult back in the day when record keeping was by hand, it could be easily implemented now in the age of computer technology - customized pricing - the way auto insurers do! Exactly the model the President proposes to mimic in requiring universality, taken one step further. It could be done with a minimum of additional bureaucracy and corporate inflation, utilizing the current infrastructure as a foundation. Medicare could expand to serve as the "public option," allowing for "buy-ins" that may perhaps save the program from projected future financial difficulty, and enrolling could be promoted as patriotic, to counter and reverse the current demonization. Not only would such a system lower my premiums, but it would force insurers to compete on price and appealability of product lines, and decrease and perhaps eliminate the need for government subsidies altogether. They shouldn't balk; in return for scant extra effort, they would have the opportunity to greatly increase their subscriber base and reap volume driven profits. The policies would be self limiting, cost containing and somewhat behavior modifying by their very nature, keeping overuse and abuse of the system in check. If you want more, you can always pay for it. Self, not government imposed, rationing through personal choice. This proposal, and the transition to its implementation, would be much less complicated and speedier than any idea in the current discourse and should appeal to everyone from the fiscally cautious, free market "pro-choicers" to the bleeding heart Robin Hoods and Crusader Rabbits. A great compromise. Keep It Simple, Stupid. Hint, Hint.
I'd also like to see some cash in the health care overhaul as a reward for not being a "clunker" - for not being a drain on the system, for watching diet and exercising regularly, for not being obese, for keeping blood pressure low, for not smoking or drinking, etc. - tantamount to a "good driving discount." This could easily be implemented via an age appropriate yearly checkup which would be optional and covered free of charge, with the results transmitted to an insurer to adjust a premium downward, adding an additional monetary incentive for health and wellness. I would gladly "tune-up," submit to an "inspection," downsize to a Chevy, and nibble at the "cafeteria." How about you?

Karen Ann DeLuca

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chloe Viner

Dear Editor,
My name is Chloe Viner,
I am submitting the following poems
for your consideration: Short Meditation Poems.
I have been published in Teen Voices,
Seed Magazine, The Garnet, and
have some poems awaiting publication for Down in the Dirt.
I am currently a student at Vermont Law school,
and write poetry in my free time.
Thank you for your consideration
Sincerely, Chloe Viner

Short Meditation Poems
I my original self
washes away in rain
left as dew clinging to fruit

Like snow on the mountain
becomes the ocean,
we live and die.

Three birds perch on step
two moons reflect in water
one monk in dharma.

The Buddha sits in the rain
and doesn't get wet
but when he swims in the ocean
he becomes the water.

Like stones in the water
become stuck when the river freezes
hatred and ill will become trapped
once allowed to enter the mind.

There are thousands
of ways to be
but only one
way to not be.

Just as you can't smell
an orange until you peel it
you can't reach non-thought
without first peeling away thought.

There are no need for benches
and no need for words
it is far better to sit on a stone in silence.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Enclave of Excellence

Jimmy Carter spoke of racism,
In the Congressman's "you lie" remark,
Joe Wilson's 62, from South Carolina,
The ex-President may not be far off the mark.

Number 39 also took aim at Kanye,
For hijacking Taylor's acceptance speech,
The "punishment" came from Jay Leno,
Is this what Dr. Donda West teached?!

What no one seems to be saying,
Is that racism works both ways,
Against black Presidents in the White House,
And sweet, young white girls at the VMAs.

We all have our enclave of excellence,
We don't like it when others intrude,
That may explain Seven Days in September,
Joe and Kanye, Serena and Roger, all being so rude.

Karen Ann DeLuca

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Elegaic for a Week of Incivility

It started with Joe Wilson's "You Lie," to the President,
In chambers, televised for all to see,
One apology, that's enough, so what?!
I was frustrated, I heckled, what's the fuss, gee?!

Then came Serena, not so serene,
On court, doing her best Johnny Mac,
Another line judged crossed, tantrums in ladies' tennis,
Grand Slam means not only the ball is attacked.

At the same time, MJ, inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame,
Accepted, dissing, from high school to the pros, who he didn't like,
To his kids: "You...have a heavy burden...I wouldn't want to be you...,"
Do people still want to be like Mike?

Running for Governor in Virginia, Bob McDonnell,
When interviewed, of f---ing mechanisms spoke,
He said he meant "funding;" oops, believe it, or not,
The "culture warrior" now seems more like a joke.

But worst of all, Kanye, dissing poor Taylor,
Spoiling the teen's moment, narcissistic and crass,
Thank you Beyonce, for being so gracious,
And showing the rest of us the meaning of class.

Just as Serena was fined and said "sorry," three days late,
There was Roger, cursing, what is Arthur Ashe thinking from above?
Sure, no one likes to lose, particularly a champ,
But the solipsism gives new meaning to the tennis terms "upset" and "love."

From the world of politics, sports and entertainment,
Modeling poorly, it's common, there's no getting away,
Outbursts, ego and swear words, regrets only after the fact,
Elegiac for a week of incivility.

Karen Ann DeLuca

Monday, September 14, 2009

Just Look What Has Become of US?

No one says "please" or "thank you,"
"Hello," or "excuse me" as they shove by,
Newt called Nancy by her last name,
We're accustomed to rarely being looked in the eye.

I've been woken up by loud TV, blaring music,
Thumps and slams in the middle of night,
My neighbor's website boast a hobby of "bothering people,"
That has given me a fright.

For the ex, name calling came naturally,
"Bitch," "evil," "worthless," and "whore,"
I had enough by the time he took a swing,
The police hauled him out the door.

And what about the language on radio or TV,
Talking heads screaming over each other,
If "leaders" don't model or show respect,
How can we expect it from our "brother?"

Online it's even worse,
Borderline "opinions" and inflammatory trash talk rule the day,
The only line that's been drawn is in New York,
Where calling someone a "skank" or a "ho" is not okay.

In business, always trying to put one over,
Disingenuous discourse to see who can be gypped,
A person's word used to be their bond,
It's worth has certainly dipped.

We used to be able to calmly converse,
Have a dialogue, agree to disagree,
Now you can go to a town hall meeting,
And leave one finger free!

Woodstock and Kumbaya were not so long ago,
Is this rudeness the result of thirty years of "partisanship plus?"
We're shrinking in the eyes of the world,
No wonder, just look what has become of US!

We're acting like animals, not using our brains,
Less "listening tour," more national Jerry Springer show,
No civility, no empathy, adrenaline fueled vitriol and rage,
With a Congressman calling the President a liar, we've hit a new low.

Karen Ann DeLuca

Helpless I do not know if good intentions prevail among the elected, among the appointed, leaving me apprehensive that the fate ...